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Calif. May Build Tunnel in Quake Region

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posted on Nov, 12 2005 @ 11:43 PM
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Calif. May Build Tunnel in Quake Region

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (AP) - Traffic is so bad along the eastern rim of Los Angeles' suburban ring that regional planners are considering the once unthinkable - an 11-mile tunnel through a mountain range in earthquake country.

Critics question the logic of building a multibillion-dollar project in a region so prone to earthquakes that an alternate proposal for a double-decker highway was deemed too dangerous. The tunnel would begin barely a mile from a fault that produced a 6.0-magnitude earthquake about a century ago.

"It's absolutely absurd to have a tunnel 700 feet below ground in earthquake country," said Cathryn DeYoung, mayor of Laguna Niguel and a vocal opponent. "I mean, would you want to be in that tunnel?"

Planners are due to make a decision in mid November on whether to pursue the project.

The proposal for what would be the world's second-longest road tunnel would create a new path between sprawling inland suburbs and Orange County, which has become one of Southern California's fastest-growing job centers.

Such a project could cost up to $9 billion and take 25 years...



My reaction to this article was pure laughter.
Sometimes, I really do think that as a species we are collectively just too stupid to avoid such ridiculous blunders.

Gosh, do you really think that in 25 years they'll be able to avoid earthquakes of even moderate size? And how about the $9 billion number? Ya think that price will hold?





[edit on 12-11-2005 by loam]




posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 12:08 AM
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The traffic in LA is bad. However, you have a whole underground system in a major earthquake zone, major buildings, overpasses etc. The engineering can be done, and lets face it if a 9.0+ hits its not going to matter much where you are. Yes it may be close to a fault zone, but if the geology of the area supports it........



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
The engineering can be done, and lets face it if a 9.0+ hits its not going to matter much where you are. Yes it may be close to a fault zone, but if the geology of the area supports it........


Where is the evidence that the geology supports it? Moreover, it wont take a 9.0 to make such a tunnel (an engineering feet in and of itself under the best of circumstances) vulnerable to damage and therefore potentially useless. Throw in that is will take 25 years to build and you expand the associated risk that the useful life of such a tunnel will be significantly diminished...and at a cost that will ultimately far exceed $9 billion. If Californians want to build it, so be it. But tell the truth about the associated risk and the likely true economic cost of such foolishness.


[edit on 13-11-2005 by loam]



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 12:30 AM
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Loam, im not privy to the geology reports of the region, but its a consideration that they will no doubt taken into account and I'm sure CALTRANS is. But an 11 mile tunnel is long, but the engineering is not a mystery. Take the UK / France tunnel across the English Channel which is 31 miles long.

Having been stuck in LA traffic anything that can impact it in a positive way should be considered. Also, if it reduces congestion it will have a postive impact on pollution in the region as well.

This is no different that say rebuilding a city below sea level that can be hit by hurricaines each year no? Why bother building anything at all in So Cal?



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 12:47 AM
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My concern is with the actual buiding of the tunnel. Drilling and blasting could actually create the quakes on a weakened faultline...

Oh geez sorry LA, we slipped a bit there. "hey Joe, easy on the TNT next time"


cjf

posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:02 AM
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11 miles costing US$ 9 billion+…

That is nearly US$ 155,000.00 per foot!

It better be earthquake proof!

.



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:08 AM
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All of California is a quake region. I live hundreds of miles from the main San Andreas fault but I still have to have measures against earthquakes on my house.



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:12 AM
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Originally posted by Mayet
My concern is with the actual buiding of the tunnel. Drilling and blasting could actually create the quakes on a weakened faultline...

Oh geez sorry LA, we slipped a bit there. "hey Joe, easy on the TNT next time"


They would use a tunnel boring machine ot TBM. I doubt that they would do any blasting

www.robbinstbm.com...



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:33 AM
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Would it not be more economic to develop cheaper transportation rather than build a 17km long tunnel?



Such a project could cost up to $9 billion and take 25 years.


Does anyone know about tax dollars going towards the development of new and better transportation?

www.railway-technology.com...


BANGKOK TRANSIT SYSTEM LIGHT RAIL ROUTE EXTENSION, THAILAND

The network comprises two lines, extending to a total of 23.1km
...
The cost of building the system was US$1,800 million
(£1,100 million), which is almost twice that of a comparable line in Manila, Philippines. Lending banks were promised 680,000 passenger journeys per day (a 16% rate of return) but the present traffic of about 105,000 per day is only just covering operating expenses.


This could save a lot of money...



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:38 AM
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I don't think you can really compare the costs of building something in Bangkok to building it in California. Completely different regulatory environment and labor market. But I agree, that area should be investing more in mass transit systems.



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:44 AM
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Wouldn't it still vibrate and cause friction around? It looks net though. I wonder now if thats the machine building all the sydney tunnels



posted on Nov, 13 2005 @ 01:45 AM
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I can't help but feel that such an undertaking is a fine example of testing the bounds of Natural Selection.



posted on Nov, 14 2005 @ 08:53 PM
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B.A.R.T.
We used to ride this when we were kid's. It's still up and running, so I don't see what the big fuss is. And i'm sure the industry has made some improvement's as far as safety goes..



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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At first it would seem that what you are saying makes sense; that building anything in a tunnel around an earthquake-prone area is a recipe for disaster, but I have been corrected for thinking the same thing before. Geologists can back me up on this one, but seismic waves are actually less of a problem underground than above ground. Also don't forget that LA already has an existing subway, which suffered only minor damage during the Northridge earthquake from what I have read.

Also $9B is cheap. We're spending more than 10 times that amount for our troop deployment in Iraq.

-P



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77

I agree, that area should be investing more in mass transit systems.


Now there's a thought! Mass transit. End congestion. Save the air. Reduce oil consumption. Apparently it's just TOO good a thought.

Re: the safety of underground tunnels in earthquake zones. The first thing that comes to mind is the phrase "seismic lens" - basically a geological structure that directs, focuses, and amplifies seismic waves. ...A tunnel just might do the trick.






posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 10:19 PM
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Drilling and blasting on a fault has never had an adverse effect on the fault, maybe if you tried it with large scale nuclear weapopns maybe.
During the contruction of the 'Red Line' subway in Los Angeles, millions of dollars was spent defending the MTA from a Lawsuit filed by residents of the Hollywood Hills, who were afraid that the TBMS (2 - 7+meter wide) would cause so much vibration that the hills would break down and their multi-million dollar homes would be destroyed in the resulting landslides. Siesmic and acoustic monitors were placed over varying distances from the top/center of the tunnels and the results were checked every day.

Results?

The Hollywood Hills and the multi-million dollars homes had more to fear from the damage caused by SUVS and other large trucks driving on the local streets. There was zero vibration picked up by the siesmic and acoustic sensors during the entire construction project.



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